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The Taking by Dean Koontz
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The Taking (edition 2005)

by Dean Koontz

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3,069612,765 (3.53)63
Member:RobinTim
Title:The Taking
Authors:Dean Koontz
Info:Bantam Books (2005), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Tim and Robins
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The Taking by Dean Koontz

  1. 00
    The Conqueror Worms by Brian Keene (beadzombie)
    beadzombie: Another apocalyptic book with a similar premise. Worth a read for sure if you even mildly enjoyed The Taking by Koontz.
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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
4.5/5
Go to Confessions of a Book Freak for my thoughts ( )
  RamblingBookNerd | Jun 5, 2019 |
This was my very first Dean Koontz book and I have to say I'm very impressed. I can easily see why Dean is such a popular author.

This was the first book in a very very very long time that I have enjoyed this much. Best book I've read for a least 2 years. It's very suspenseful. You know there is something out there but your not really for sure what that just might be. You really don't find out what is truly hunting them until the last few Chapters. Dean makes you want to know what's bumping in the night but scared to look outside at the same time. It was a hard book to put down. Very good book, highly recommended. Earned every star. ( )
  Sam-Teegarden | Jun 2, 2018 |
Molly Sloan, a successful writer with a dark event in her childhood, and her husband wake to a strange rain in the home in a small Californian mountain town, the precursor of what appears to be a strange alien invasion. The invaders themselves remain unseen, seeming instead to attack with fungal spores contained in the rain and psychological warfare – for example, the survivors gathered in a tavern are assailed with images of their grisly deaths in the mirror behind the bar.

The Sloans, led by a strangely intelligent German Shepard, begin to scour the town looking for children to rescue, and it becomes steadily apparent that the children are being spared whatever weird fate is befalling the adults.

I'll be honest upfront; I didn't like this book, but I'll to be fair in my review and give Koontz his due. The events are certainly horrific, and often made my skin crawl so, I guess I ought to say that it succeeds as a horror novel. But, but, but...

I disliked the writing. Koontz jumps straight into the action, which is often a good idea, but he attempts to keep a level of terror and weirdness that is simply not sustainable for 400 pages, even if it is well written. He has an annoying tendency to leap for the thesaurus to express description (“it was slimy, glutinous, muculent”) which just sounds like he can't decide which word to use.

The characters and narration constantly reference science fiction movies, only to dismiss the images 'fed' to us as misleading; “forget that, it's how they want us to think.” Likewise any problem with the lack of internal logic is banished by quoting “some science fiction author”: “any sufficently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic”. I'm sure it could be argued that the speaker themselves didn't know who said this, but not referencing Arthur C. Clarke suggests a disrespect for the genre Koontz appears to be writing in – although it soon becomes apparent that this is not an SF novel in any way. Molly constantly realises what is going in in what are not so much deductions as revelations, and the plot is frequently advanced by instances of deus ex machina (I use both terms advisedly).

The characters are two dimensional at best, even the lead players, and offer no room for development; Molly is strong, intelligent, focused, organised – her husband Neil is strong, calm, thoughtful, manly. By the end I realised that this was largely because neither the characters or any other aspect of the book has room for moral ambiguity – not just right and wrong but Good and Evil. And this leads to one of the biggest problems I had with this book, but also the reason I'm cautious about outright condemning it, because my dislike is based partly on a conflict of beliefs.

From very early on I realised that the author was coming from a morally absolute standpoint, and that this was his standpoint as much as the protagonists' (largely because the character and authorial voices are interchangable) and this turns the novel into a tract. The end was not a disappointment, largely because it was in no way a surprise and because I didn't care about the actors. Molly realises, in he last of a series of revelations, the reason why the invasion ended as suddenly as it began, why some people were taken and some where not (why also those seen lifted bodily away reacted with joy while others that seemed to sink through the floor reacted with terror) and why the children were exempt from this 'sifting'. Have you guessed yet? It is all because it is the rapture, disguised in a way that would be believed in a godless age. Forget the question of why belief would be necessary as it was actually happening, or that the theory that this was an alien invasion was simply one they came up with in the bar.

Dean Koontz obviously has imagination of a gruesome sort but, if The Taking is anything to go by, lacks any literary instincts or, more importantly, compassion. I'm tempted to read something else of his to see if his style works better on a smaller, less apocalyptic stage (as I occasionally thought it might while reading this book), but feel that that, as on eating a strange fruit and finding it unpleasant, don't really want to be left with the same bad taste in my mouth.
( )
1 vote Pezski | Jun 8, 2017 |
It had a great build up..always making me wonder what is going on, what is to come. and then the ending...let down. ( )
  Brian_Lawrence | Sep 17, 2016 |
Review: The Taking by Dean Koontz.

The book was not as inspiring as some of his creations but I still like and stay interested in the story. I thought some of the supernatural phenomena were stretched out to long over several pages throughout the book. I liked the theme he used on creating somewhat of the “Noah’s Ark” scenario. He brings out a horrific event of the end-of-the-world through the eyes of a young couple. He also, uses work dogs into the mix as somewhat heroic characters.

As you read it seems like some sort of alien invasion and night of the living dead combined with the evil nature of some sociopath characters that Koontz created in this doomsday night of terror. In this book Koontz’s offers something deeper then the typical science fiction legend when he entwines the Biblical theme that creates a deeper meaning in the plot.

I believe Koontz delivers his good and bad panorama very well. He conveys a more insightful grasp on the nature of evil in most of his books, including this one.

( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
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Epigraph
In my beginning is my end.
-T. S. Eliot, East Coker
When you're alone in the middle of the night and you wake in a sweat and a hell of a fright . . .
-T. S. Eliot, Fragment of an Agon
Dedication
This book is dedicated to Joe Stefko:
great drummer, publisher of equisite special editions, dog-lover . . . three virtues that guarantee Heaven.
The bad feet can be overlooked.
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A few minutes past one o'clock in the morning, a hard rain fell without warning.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553584502, Mass Market Paperback)

In one of the most dazzling books of his celebrated career, Dean Koontz delivers a masterwork of page-turning suspense that surpasses even his own inimitable reputation as a chronicler of our worst fears—and best dreams. In The Taking he tells the story of a community cut off from a world under siege, and the terrifying battle for survival waged by a young couple and their neighbors as familiar streets become fog-shrouded death traps. Gripping, heartbreaking, and triumphant in the face of mankind’s darkest hour, here is a small-town slice-of-doomsday thriller that strikes to the core of each of us to ask: What would you do in the midst of The Taking.

On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Niel Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. It has haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now they rise to find a luminous silvery downpour drenching their small California mountain town. A strange scent hangs faintly in the air, and the young couple cannot shake the sense of something wrong.

As hours pass and the rain continues to fall, Molly and Niel listen to disturbing news of extreme weather phenomena across the globe. Before evening, their little town loses television and radio reception. Then telephone and the Internet are gone. With the ceaseless rain now comes an obscuring fog that transforms the once-friendly village into a ghostly labyrinth. By nightfall the Sloans have gathered with some of their neighbors to deal with community damage...but also because they feel the need to band together against some unknown threat, some enemy they cannot identify or even imagine.

In the night, strange noises arise, and at a distance, in the rain and the mist, mysterious lights are seen drifting among the trees. The rain diminishes with the dawn, but a moody gray-purple twilight prevails. Soon Molly, Niel, and their small band of friends will be forced to draw on reserves of strength, courage, and humanity they never knew they had. For within the misty gloom they will encounter something that reveals in a terrifying instant what is happening to their world—something that is hunting them with ruthless efficiency. Epic in scope, searingly intimate and immediate in perspective, The Taking is an adventure story like no other, a relentless roller-coaster read that brings apocalypse to Main Street and showcases the talents of one of our most original and mesmerizing novelists at the pinnacle of his powers.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:57 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Molly and Niel Sloan awake to see golden rain falling. In their remote California mountain town, they learn from their television of enormous waterspouts and blizzards around the globe; then, the television ceases, as do all other forms of communication with the outside world. The Sloans are left, together with their neighbors, in the midst of a purple fog, disturbed by a threat they cannot identify or understand. Together they discover that the world is being prepared for beings other than themselves--beings with vast technological powers at their disposal, who will stop at nothing to hunt them down and kill them all.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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